Pilgrimage to Greece – September 9, 2024

Athens | Thessaloniki | Philippi

Follow in the footsteps of St. Paul and the early Church. See where the first European baptism took place and be mesmerized by the Byzantine monasteries perched precariously on the mountainsides. Return home with a fresh perspective on the culture and life of the New Testament communities.
A Truly Catholic Pilgrimage
Date:
9/9/2024
Duration:
10 Days
Departure:
Chicago
Activity Level:
Level 2 - Moderate
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Activity Level 2 - Moderate
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$4,225
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(317) 574-4191

Pilgrimage Itinerary

Day 1 | September 9 | Depart USA

Our spiritual pilgrimage begins as we depart on our transatlantic flight to Athens. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.

Day 2 | September 10 | Arrive Athens

Upon arrival in Athens, we will be greeted by our local guide and then transfer to our hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day will be free. Overnight Athens (B/D)

Day 3 | September 11 | Athens

This morning we will visit the ancient Acropolis with its magnificent Parthenon (447-432 BC). The Acropolis served as the worship center for the entire pantheon of Greek gods. Like Corinth, Paul visited Athens on both his Second and Third Missionary Journeys. We will stop at the Areopagus, also known as Mars Hill, the site of the Shrine of the Unknown God, where we will listen to St. Paul’s daring speech (Acts 17:22-31). Other elements of our tour will include the Agora with its most impressive buildings, the Stoa of Attalus and the Temple of Hephaistos; the Roman Forum; and the Temple of Zeus Olympios. We will also enjoy a guided tour of the National Archeological Museum followed by a panoramic sightseeing tour where we will see the National Garden, the National Library, the University of Athens, the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Presidential Palace, and the Panathenaic Stadium. Overnight Athens (B/D)

Day 4 | September 12 | Athens

Today enjoy a scenic drive along the coastal road past the wonderful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza while enjoying splendid views of the Saronic Gulf. Pass through some of Athens’ most beautiful suburbs to Cape Sounion where we visit the 5th Century B.C. Temple of Poseidon with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world (on a clear day you can see at least seven islands). Return to Athens and visit the renowned “Plaka” district, located around the base of the Acropolis. Overnight Athens (B/D)

Day 5 | September 13 | Athens

This morning we will drive along the scenic coastal to ancient Corinth which St. Paul visited on both his second and third missionary journeys. We will stop at the Isthmus of Corinth, a central shipping canal that connects the Aegean and Adriatic Seas and celebrate an outdoor Mass at the Harbor of Cenchreae, Paul’s port of departure for his voyage to Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Our tour will begin with the museum and continue with an inspection of the archeological remains. Highlights will include the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Octavia, the theater, the North Market, the Forum, the shops, the Bema, and numerous other locations of interest. Return to Athens with the remainder of the afternoon free. Then drive to Mycenae, the legendary home of the Artreides that gave its name to civilization throughout the Greek World. We will visit the famous Tomb of King Agamemnon and see the Lion’s Gate, part of the great Cyclopean Wall. Continue through Argos to Nafplio, a beautiful and well-known town by the seaside, which was once the capital of Greece. Continue with a visit to the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. Return to Athens. Overnight Athens (B/D)

Day 6 | September 14 | Athens / Kalambaka

Depart Athens and drive north to Delphi, the center of the ancient world. We will take a walking tour of the Sanctuary of Apollo and the Temple of Apollo which served as the home of the Oracle of Delphi. The tour will also include the theater, the stadium where festivals and games were held in honor of the Sun God, and the museum that contains exquisite pieces of sculpture among which is the Bronze Charioteer. Then proceed to Meteora where we will experience one of the most unusual and spectacular highlights of the pilgrimage as we visit a few world-famous Byzantine monasteries perched precariously atop the summits of gray rock pinnacles of varied sizes and shapes. The panoramic view is breathtaking. Originally Greek Orthodox monks fled to caves in the vicinity for protection and solitude, and to gain greater security, went even higher. Their spiritual artwork is splendid. After visiting Meteora we will continue to Kalambaka for overnight. Overnight Kalambaka (B/D)

Day 7 | September 15 | Kalambaka / Thessaloniki

Today we will depart Kalambaka and proceed through the ancient city of Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great, to Veria where St. Paul fled after he was threatened in Thessalonica. We will celebrate Mass at the “Dais of the Apostle Paul,” and then visit the Bema, the monument to the Apostle Paul; the small Byzantine basilica of the Resurrection of Christ; and one of the town’s most notable monuments, Hagios Vlasios, which is dedicated to St. Blaise. We will then proceed to Thessaloniki which St. Paul visited on his second missionary journey in 49 A.D. and where he founded a church, was heavily persecuted, and wrote two letters to the residents. Overnight Thessaloniki (B/D)

Day 8 | September 16 | Thessaloniki

Today we will visit the Old City Ramparts and St. George Church, as well as two beautiful basilicas, St. Demetrius, which is dedicated to a member of the Roman army who converted to Christianity and later was martyred, and St. Sophia. We will also visit the famous Archaeological Museum, and some other points of interest including the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius, the Palace of Galerius, a Roman Forum, the statue of Alexander the Great, and the Royal Tombs of Vergina. Overnight Thessaloniki (B/D)

Day 9 | September 17 | Thessaloniki / Philippi / Kavala / Thessaloniki

Today we will travel to Philippi, the place where St. Paul began his missionary work in Europe. The highlight of the day will be an outdoor celebration of Mass alongside the river where Paul preached and baptized Lydia, his first European convert. We will visit the nearby Greek Orthodox church. We will also conduct a prayer service at the place where St. Paul was held in prison. While in Philippi, we will visit the ruins of a basilica, the Forum, the Agora or marketplace, aqueduct, Acropolis, and theater. Next, we will travel along the Via Egnatia to biblical Neapolis, later renamed Christopoulos because it was the first European city to accept Christianity, which today is known as Kavala. It is a beautiful modern seaport town and the place where St. Paul landed in Greece after his voyage from Troas. We will visit the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Nicholas Church and then return to Thessaloniki for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant and overnight. Overnight Thessaloniki (B/D)

Day 10 | September 18 | Thessaloniki / USA

Transfer to the airport in Thessaloniki to catch our return flight home, bringing with us all of the graces and blessings of this pilgrimage. (B)

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What's Included

  • Daily Mass at holy sites
  • Roundtrip economy class airfare from Chicago O’Hare on Turkish Airlines
  • 8 nights’ accommodation, including taxes and service charges
  • Knowledgeable, friendly, local guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
  • Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)
  • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant on day 9

*Pricing Information

The total pricing is based off the following components:
Base price:
$3,565
Air taxes/fuel surcharges:
$519
Gratuities:
$140
See brochure for information about single rooms and/or land-only pricing.

Please note: Air taxes/fuel surcharges and gratuities are subject to change and will be updated on the final invoice. The final invoice will be emailed to you approximately 3 months prior to departure.
Contact Tekton Ministries to reserve your spot on this life-changing pilgrimage

Testimonials

Read what other pilgrims have shared about their experiences with Tekton Ministries.
You can view more testimonials here.
Turkey and Greece
"My favorite moment was having mass at the river where Lydia, the first European convert, and her family were baptized. It was so peaceful there... and profound."
Rev. Matthew V.Pilgrim from Weston, NE
Turkey and Greece
"The tour guides did a super job, were very personable and patient, had a great education which they shared well and also had a sense of humor."
Matthew V.Pilgrim from Omaha
Turkey and Greece
"The depth of knowledge gained by witnessing the development of our Catholic Faith through actual contact with the Acts of the Apostles locations and the Saints quest to spread the word of God will allow me to live out my faith differently now."
Gerald T.Pilgrim from Memphis